What is The Right Solution for Invoice Processing?
October 23rd, 2018 | Hitesh Mistry
Invoices are an inevitable part for most of the industries. Invoice data capture is mandatory for businesses across finances, from online payments, to bookkeeping, to even banks. Managing invoices for accounts payable and storing them in a digital format is as important. Imagine a situation when your supplier is bothering you every now and then for invoice payment and you keep delaying it just because you are not sure of the payment amount to be paid as you have lost paper copy of the bill.
Be grateful to the invention of electronic invoice data capturing. Now your suppliers cannot trick you even if you have lost the paper copy. Outsourcing Invoice data capture will break in your lengthy resource hungry processes to simpler automated invoice data entry. Company’s invoice data is accessed at various locations and geographies and therefore it gets difficult to create a generic format covering all critical points to capture data from invoices as per standardized protocols.
Mandatory attributes for invoice keying
Before payment are made and after completion of transaction the first thing an organization comes across are Invoices and receipts. Having some common types of fields/attributes will help you prepare a unique format that can be used in any part of your company, globally:
Enlisted are few attributes that prove helpful in preparing a generalized format:
- Date of invoice: Date of invoice registration or payment.
- Supplier details: Supplier name and Supplier address, telephone, email as set while registering and such details to be tracked.
- Total amount: The amount to be paid to the receiver.
- Product name/description: A distinguished product description so as differentiate between similar product array.
- Invoice number: A unique invoice number specifying the generic details.
- Quantity: The number of product which is been catered.
- Product part number (if applicable): If there are similar parts of products making sure to enter the product part number as well for uniquely identifying which one was processed.
- Other charges: Extra charges applicable on invoice on reverse charge basis.
- Taxes: Trading taxes or all applicable taxes.
- Due date: The payment is due form dates.
- Payment method: By which means the invoice is been paid.
So now when you know which details are essential to capture in a standardized invoice format or invoice data creation, the only thing left is how to capture it efficiently. Use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is amongst the leading methods of invoice data entry. But all of these advanced conventional and advanced techniques of invoice data capture don’t prove fruitful unless you or your teams are skilled at it.
Enterprises are left with two choices, either do it in a non-effective way through in-house teams or outsource it to expert invoice data entry specialists who are well versed with technologies and are experienced enough to manage the entire invoice data entry process on your behalf. The third option is that organizations resort to advanced OCR and machine learning data entry technology, but then again the in-house data professionals will need to be trained and also such technology works on advanced computer systems only purchasing which would incur additional costs.
1. In-house manual keying:
When you deal with invoices, you know they dont come in a standardized format Invoices can be a paper copy or can be an image in a data drive that you need to key in. There can be bundles of paper invoices which need to be converted into a digital format by scanning those. Hiring resources for scanning and uploading invoices will impact your company’s finances.
There is nothing wrong if you rely on your in-house project champions for work related to their project expertise, and even manual keying of invoices. The biggest advantage one could see here is that in-house data keying is secure, probably because your documents never leave your office premises. But as invoice data entry requires concentration, and is a time consuming task; so when you invest your productive resources into manual data entry you have to be utmost careful about it.
At the end of the day it should not be pointless as these productive resources can do much better than just entering invoices into an excel sheet. This indicates that there is a dire need to improve on your current approach, and a smarter solution is outsourced invoice data entry.
2. OCR and machine learning for data entry
It is an undeniable fact that machines can process data faster than humans but still the fact that manual data entry being an outdated business is the most adopted one by majority of industries. Invoice data entry performed manually on a regular basis slows down the operations and thus automated invoice data entry process with help of OCR (optical character recognition) came into existence
Further using ICR (intelligent character recognition) can identify different handwriting styles. For bulk processing of invoices and forms use OCR & ICR technology ,the invoice is automatically linked to the relevant purchase or call off order and compared and checked for, among other things like supplier data, invoice number dates, prices, VAT amounts and total amount. If you are a nave user, the best option is to outsource invoice data entry and be focused on your primary tasks.
3. Outsource invoice data entry
Outsource invoice data entry companies capture invoice data through OCR/ICR technology and help their clients reduce their reliance on manual data entry and cost cutting, assuring them of automation & reducing their workload. It is a reliable partnership providing relevant invoice data entry services in a timely manner and the required data fields entered, can be arranged and even edited in an electronic format and thus enhancing your business processes and productivity. With invoice data entry solution companies can pay invoices on time without getting tricked by their supplier and thereby earning some vendor discounts and added benefits too. Regardless you know what are you looking for from invoice data, digitized invoice processing proves beneficial.
Manually processing paper invoices proves to be a costly and inefficient approach. Instead of investing in invoice automation software, hardware; companies can certainly benefit by outsourcing invoice processing services. This piece of information would have helped you to create a rough sketch of how to create a standardized format for invoice data entry which will be helpful in preparing a long term electronic data base. But the industries dealing with excessive invoices can now focus their resources in core business activities.